Finances in Order? Don’t Forget to Monitor Your Credit [TransUnion Credit Monitoring Review]

This post is brought to you by TransUnion. While this post was sponsored by TransUnion, all content and opinions expressed here are my own.

TransUnion Credit Monitoring ReviewYou’ve come a long way in your financial journey.

You mostly follow your budget, you’re no longer surprised by financial emergencies, and you are working on saving for long-term goals, like home ownership, college, or retirement.

It can be easy to feel like you can rest on your laurels once you get to this point. After all, you are far ahead of the 66 million Americans who have no savings whatsoever.

But before you start patting yourself on the back for a job well-done, remember that even if you are doing everything right with your money, identity theft or a mistake on your credit report could put your financial health in jeopardy.

This is why credit monitoring is an important part of getting your financial house in order. With credit monitoring, you know when your credit report has a mistake or a problem, and you can stop such an issue before it wreaks havoc on the financial health you have worked so hard to achieve.

Here’s what you need to know about how credit monitoring can help you stay on track financially:

Why Credit Monitoring Is Important

Unlike your 6th grade progress reports, your credit report really does go down on your permanent record.

Not only do lenders access this vital document when you need to borrow money for a home mortgage, a car loan, a small business loan, or a personal loan, but landlords, insurance companies, and even employers also use your credit report to determine your creditworthiness and make decisions on whether or not to work with you.

Credit monitoring allows you to know exactly how lenders and others using your credit report see you. It can be the first line of defense against identity theft since regularly monitoring your credit report will allow you to quickly identify fraudulent hard credit inquiries that you did not authorize. Without credit monitoring, many victims of identity theft may not know that their credit has been compromised for some time.

In addition, as many as one out of every 20 consumers have errors on their credit reports that are severe enough to affect their ability to get favorable loan terms. Though that is a 95% accuracy rate, that is still far too many consumers who may find themselves unable to acquire a favorable loan because of a mistake. Credit monitoring allows you to keep an eye on your report and find errors early—before you need to access your credit.

Finally, monitoring your credit with someone like TransUnion includes unlimited credit score updates. This can be valuable information for anyone who is trying to get their financial life in order because you can see in real time how your money moves affect your credit score.

TransUnion Credit Monitoring vs. Manually Checking Your Report

TransUnion-LogoMany of the benefits of credit monitoring can be yours without signing up for a monitoring service. You have the right to see your credit report once a year from each of the three national consumer reporting companies—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

We’ve written before on PTMoney that you can access these reports from AnnualCreditReport.com. You can either request all three credit reports simultaneously once a year, or if you are particularly well organized, you can request one every four months, and thereby keep a rolling eye on your credit report for the sorts of fraudulent usage and credit-affecting errors that credit monitoring checks for you.

Considering the fact that you can DIY for free, why would you choose to sign up for TransUnion’s credit monitoring? There are several good reasons to do so:

  1. TransUnion’s credit monitoring provides unlimited TransUnion credit score and report updates.
  2. TransUnion will alert you whenever there is any change to any of your accounts. This includes any new accounts opened in your name, a credit card balance increase, or a late payment reported by a creditor.
  3. TransUnion’s credit monitoring includes the Credit Lock feature, which allows you to lock your TransUnion report so that it cannot be accessed by creditors. This is a much more convenient method of protecting yourself from identity theft than the typical advice to freeze your credit.
  4. You receive toll-free access to identity theft specialists and up to $1 million in identity theft insurance in the event that your information is compromised.

In addition to all of that, manually checking your credit report is the sort of important-but-not-urgent task that can fall by the wayside. Signing up for credit monitoring with TransUnion means that checking your credit report is off your plate.

Educate Yourself with TransUnion Credit Monitoring

Signing up for TransUnion credit monitoring also provides you access to a number of educational features that can be invaluable to anyone working to improve their financial literacy. One of my favorites is the Credit Score Simulator tool, which allows you to see how your credit score would change based on different actions you might take.

TransUnion ScoreSimulator

For instance, the Credit Score Simulator will show you how your score might be affected by:

  • Paying one account 30 days late
  • Making on-time payments for 12 months to all of your accounts
  • Closing an existing credit account
  • Applying for a new credit account
  • Paying off an existing credit account

The Score Trending feature creates an interactive graph of your score history over time, which can help you to identify the actions you’ve taken in the past that have affected your score, both negatively and positively.

There are also calculators that will help you evaluate your entire financial situation, as well as personalized credit and debt analysis that will help you identify money-saving opportunities.

All of these educational features can help you improve upon your current level of financial health.

Signing Up with TransUnion

New customers can receive their full TransUnion credit report for $1, which includes a free 7-day trial membership of TransUnion Credit Monitoring. This trial gives you access to the full suite of TransUnion’s credit monitoring features. After the week-long trial, your membership will cost $19.95 per month from then on.

If you'd rather skip the free trial, you can sign up for TransUnion Credit Monitoring for just $9.95 per month.

Credit Monitoring by TransUnion

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Last Edited: June 27, 2017 @ 2:42 pmThe content of ptmoney.com is for general information purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Visitors to ptmoney.com should not act upon the content or information without first seeking appropriate professional advice. In accordance with the latest FTC guidelines, we declare that we have a financial relationship with every company mentioned on this site.
About Emily Guy Birken

Emily Guy Birken is a former English teacher and respected personal finance blogger. She lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her engineer husband and two high-energy little boys. She has written two books: The Five Years Before You Retire and Choose Your Retirement. Emily’s thoughts on parenting and life in general are found at The SAHMnambulist.

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